Reaction to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) statement after the Shoreham air crash

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) do an amazing job in the UK, and should be rightly proud of the recent ruling that means airlines like Ryanair, Jet2, Aer Lingus and Wizz Air etc now must offer customers better support in the event of delayed and cancelled flights (situations which are seemingly more and more common).

We also applaud their decision over the weekend to look at what can be done to make air displays safer after the tragic events at the Shoreham Airshow, and the incident earlier in the month at CarFest 2015.

The CAA statement confirms that they are “committed to holding a review” into current safety guidelines surrounding air shows.

As a law firm that has represented clients involved in air display incidents previously we are very well aware of the heartbreak and suffering that they can cause when these catastrophic accidents happen.

Civil Litigation lawyer at Michael Lewin Solicitors, Richard Coulthard said “This was the sixth air disaster at a UK show in the last seven years, and whilst the timing of this latest incident, coming so soon after CarFest, makes for uncomfortable reading, statistically these types of incidents at air shows are thankfully extremely rare.”

Richard continued “The key consideration from our perspective is that the CAA need to look at where these events are held and where possible always ensure that displays are held over farmland or the sea so that if the worst does happen, people and property are protected.”

Current guidelines are that spectators have to be a certain distance from the ‘display line’ and that aircraft are not allowed to fly over spectators – but as the Shoreham incident shows, this isn’t always enough protection.

As Richard pointed out, air shows are generally safe and should continue, we just want the CAA (who authorises airshow display routines) to take a serious look at the regulations with a view to tightening them up.

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